Lent Week 3 - Sustaining Hope
Week 3: March 24, 2019
Third Sunday of Lent
Luke 13: 1 – 9
Today’s Gospel passage, found only in Luke, shows Jesus as compassionate yet insistent. He is adamant that sinners need to repent and patiently extends another opportunity to them to change. His behavior and approach is consistent when it comes to his disciples and to us, since all are sinners. Stumbling along the way does not exclude any one from being his disciple. When it comes to repentance, continual procrastination and resisting change are significant obstacles to growth in discipleship. The fig tree is unproductive yet is given another year to produce fruit.
In the section, The Family & Parish Community of Bishop Libasci's Pastoral Letter, A Call to Hope, a Call to Act , Bishop Libasci reminds us that with the new pattern for celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation with younger members of the Church, it is vitally important for us “to continue to listen to their needs, questions, desires, hopes and challenges.” Families and parish communities have unique opportunities to be present to youth. At the same time, families and parish communities share the responsibility of handing on the faith. Like the landowner in the Gospel, our role is to cultivate the ground and fertilize the tree. With our prayer, support and witness to the Catholic way of life, we encourage young people to continue to grow in faith, develop virtues and produce good fruit through acts of mercy.
How has an older family member or parishioner helped you grow in your faith? How can you walk with, accompany, a younger member of your family or parish community and help form them as a disciple of Christ?
Pray the Act of Hope each day this week to deepen hope within you and to see the potential for growth in yourself, others, our church and society.
Act of Hope
O Lord God,
I hope by your grace for the pardon
of all my sins
and after life here to gain eternal happiness
because you have promised it
who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind,
In this hope I intend to live and die.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance is available more frequently during Lent in many parishes both for individuals and in communal celebrations. Ask for the grace to be more open to change as you prepare to celebrate this sacrament of pardon and peace.
Encourage in word and/or deed younger members of your family, parish or in your work place.
Pray for younger members of your family and parish, especially those making decisions about high school, college, and their vocation in life.
Contact the Catechetical Leader or Youth Minister in your parish and let them know you are praying for and with them and their important ministry. Consider asking how you can assist them during a single event or as an ongoing commitment.